Tiger Woods confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that he will play this summer's Open Championship and that has sparked a flurry of rumours that he could use the Irish Open as a warm-up tournament. His tied-second place (T2) at the Valspar Championships earlier in the year was his best finish since 2013.
Woods' day on Friday was very middling.
"I didn't hit it close enough", Woods said afterward. I kind of thought that was going to lead into something on the back. Instead, Woods' wedge shot found the back bunker and he managed from an awkward stance to salvage his par.
"It is a big big deal for this part of the world", said John. "It was a bad combo".
Woods birdied the par-three third hole to get back to under par. Woods wasn't a whole lot better. "He's grinding, he's over-tired". The most light-hearted moment of the day came on 18, when Woods' caddy Joe LaCava tripped over Phil Mickelson's golf bag and fell to the ground.
"This Championship is more a mental test than most others".
Certainly, if 51-year-old Steve Stricker can shoot rounds of 67 and 69 to get into the top-10 at the tournament's midway point, then shouldn't the game's historically transcendent player be hovering somewhere on the leaderboard? Now it's just a matter of just going out there and staying finetuned, but I still have to pace myself in how much I practice and how much I play. "He's feeling better about his health".
Gun battle between security forces & militants in Afghanistan
Afghan security forces surrounded the area and were still battling the gunmen hours after the initial explosions. No individual or group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the attack.
Mickelson spoke recently of his wish that he and Woods simply "bypass the ancillary stuff" at the Players in favour of a head-to-head matchup. He's already had a couple phenomenal weeks.
"I never brought it up again", Woods said of LaCava's fall,"but boy, I think Phil gave him a pretty good one". Another week, he can't get a proper feel for the speed of the greens.
Woods knew the Stadium Course was there for the taking.
With the earlier nightmare experience on the 18 hole fresh in his mind, Padraig took the safe option off the tee, hitting the green in three shots to avoid the water.
"I think it is going to be an incredible event and it will surprise everybody". And he drove it really well last week at Wells Fargo to end the week seventh in driving distance and 15 in strokes gained off the tee.
"I was just a touch off today", he said.
Barring a significant turnaround Friday, Lefty will miss the cut at the Players for the fifth time in the last six years. The cutline kept flipping between 1-under and 2-under all day. Woods has done a nice job of squeezing the most juice out of this lemon, circling four birdies and an eagle to erase five bogeys. "I think nobody does kind of slightly overweight middle-age guy better than me - and this says exactly who I am".